7 Simple Steps to Sourcing Success

What would it mean if you could standardize the source-to-contract-process no matter how tumultuous the global market?

Now, more than ever, sourcing teams are faced with the constant demand to alleviate bottlenecks, maximize efficiency, and optimize spend. They are also tasked with maintaining critical supplier relationships and reducing risk. These teams, which usually represent only a very small percentage of the overall organization, must continue to deliver even amid the constant pivot of supply chain shortages and growing business complexity.

Given this, it comes as no surprise that business leaders are searching for innovative solutions that will evolve with their enterprise, leveraging procurement digital transformation.

Leading contract lifecycle management (CLM) software offers better visibility across the enterprise, transforming the sourcing contract management process for resource-constrained teams and their organizations.

Today’s biggest sourcing challenges

Regardless of your workflow process, whether rooted in a basic, traditional system or a highly matrixed methodology, all organizations face similar hurdles when it comes to procurement and contract management.

Inefficiencies across operations impact the contract lifecycle but also impact an enterprise’s ability to react in real-time to a changing market. Missing data and cumbersome systems slow down a team’s productivity and create breaks in communication that open the organization up to potential risk.

What procurement operations need is a cloud contract lifecycle management software that offers an elevated level of visibility. Easy access to contract data and analytics opens the door to more informed decision making—lowering costs and reducing risk across the business.

The additional value found in automating tasks and centralizing standardized language for purchasing contract management guarantees consistent delivery that serves not only the holistic needs of the company but also enhances supplier relationships.

The benefits of a contract lifecycle management solution are numerous in its abilities to anticipate, automate, and streamline critical business processes. Here, we highlight for you the 7 steps to sourcing success, rooted in the deployment of a leading CLM solution for the effective business management of contracts.

Savvy sourcing: 7 steps to success

1. Build a contract repository

Do you wish there were a central location for all your contract data? A single source of truth?

The foundation of vendor contract management is creating a single, dynamic portal that centralizes contract intelligence and communicates across teams. Transparency of this kind breaks down missing or conflicting data-points and opens the door to a more streamlined workflow.

A robust contract management platform extracts information such as terms, scope, pricing, and milestones–inputting this data into an easily accessed repository. Out of this comes a dashboard of data that offers charts, reports, and a storehouse of analytics that lead to better insight and transparency across the enterprise.

It also increases security by configuring permissions that invite relevant stakeholders in at the right stage of the contract process.

2. Extract valuable data

In the language of your contracts, you will find the DNA of your business—it is where crucial information that defines your organization’s rules, risks, obligations, and culture is found.

You can gain critical knowledge about your organization by performing an audit of your material agreements, retaining only documents that contain updated language reflecting your current policies and procedures. Integration of these contracts into your CLM platform elevates the integrity and functionality of the central hub by offering an archive of standardized language and current data.

3. Harmonize your templates

The high functioning CLM will allow you to take the updated, centralized contract repository and generate consolidated and standardized agreements.

Through the creation of consistent but flexible templates the organization will be able to maximize efficiency in building agreements using a dynamic clause library, while still allowing for variations across departments. Minimizing variability in the contract process mitigates risk by creating a uniform starting place for contract types and eliminates confusion for procurement teams and suppliers.

4. Streamline supplier onboarding

Procurement teams are not the only ones that benefit from vendor contract management software. The leading CLM platforms, like Agiloft, offer supplier information management through a Supplier Portal to enable easy collaboration with external stakeholders.

Increasing visibility while eliminating hurdles to the workflow leads to faster decision-making for both supplier and buyer which can often mean cutting costs and optimizing spend. The unseen impact is that it also creates greater alignment between stakeholders by not only easing the supplier’s user experience but also offering the enterprise the necessary information to choose the best supplier and automating the renewal of contracts.

5. Track vendor compliance and performance

At the forefront of contract management best practices is evaluating risk and monitoring compliance.

The CLM helps sourcing specialists identify and monitor when a supplier relationship is within the current risk tolerance and when it is important to leverage alternative options. Additionally, active management of contracts ensures compliance requirements are met by using functions like expiration date alerts.

6. Find opportunities for savings and increased value

By offering solutions to increase efficiency, gather and analyze data and evaluate risk, the CLM increases procurement’s potential buying power. This contract intelligence will help teams find opportunities to engage high-value suppliers and consolidate repeat suppliers. This strategic decision-making reduces complexity and initiates long-term financial savings.

7. Automate source-to-contract processes

Automation saves time and effort and in today’s business market, time is everything.

The ability to customize and automate tasks, like the contract tracker, simplifies and standardizes the complete source-to-contract workflow. Customized configuration will automate the tasks most vital to your business process, equipping teams with the tools to maximize productivity.

Choose easy: Implementation, integration, and use of CLM

It is estimated that by 2023, 90% of enterprises will have a contract management system in place. Now, it is time to choose the best platform.

For all the ways contract lifecycle management simplifies the workflow process, it is equally important that implementation remains simple. Flexibility is the key to this process. Flexibility translates to customization of the CLM for the unique needs of your business and integration with existing systems, maintaining connections to the other apps and programs already in use.

Most important, though, is the CLM platform’s ease of use. The added value created in streamlining workflows is lost if the interface is not easy to use and adapt with the growing needs of the business—or any future supply chain obstacles. Through use of a no-code platform, leading providers of CLM software keep the system user-friendly and minimize IT involvement beyond the implementation stage.

With its unmatched configurability, Agiloft’s CLM software improves contract management for procurement, sourcing, legal, and sales operations teams. Agiloft’s leading CLM platform alleviates inefficiencies and maximizes the business value of your contracts and relationships.

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